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Tuners Coax 45 More HP from Baby GTI

A tuning firm, B&B Automobiletechnik, has managed a huge jump in power for the smallest member of the Golf GTI family. The Up! GTI has had its power raised from 100 horsepower to 145 horsepower. Of course, it took a lot of work and added equipment. Here's how they did it.

Every month, when the monthly sales figures for Volkswagen are computed and discussed quite seriously by the financial types, there’s one interesting list, it is the “Golf Family.” This is the family that contains such vehicles as the fire-breathing Golf GTI, SportWagen, and standard Golf, among others.

”The Golf Family” Is Bigger Than You Think

It is quite an impressive list. However, the listing seems to be short one, and, unless you check carefully, you’ll probably miss it. It is the tiniest Volkswagen GTI, the Up! GTI. The Up! GTI is the smallest GTI in VW garage.The Up! GTI has been called “no match for its larger brothers, Polo GTI and Golf GTI,” which it isn’t. This is because it is the smallest in the VW garage. The engine is a three-cylinder 1.0-liter engine (the engine is so cute, you wonder if there isn’t a huge rubber band providing the propulsion, but I guess not) which runs an 8.8-second 0 to 62 run. However, if you were to tune the engine a bit, adding power, what do you think it might do?

This is the question that B&B Automobiltechnik asked themselves when they decided to tune this Wolfsburg offering. It is a tuning project that, among other things, came up with a two-stage engine program that boosts the model’s power from 1.0-liter/100-horsepower by a considerable amount (roughly 45 horsepower). The new tuning program, which also is part of a two-part tuning program overall, bumps the acceleration and top-speed figures.

The the first level the tuners increased the boost to the tiny three by about 0.2 bars. This increase in boost adds 21 horsepower. Moving to the next level, Stage 2, they added things like an optimized intake and air ducts that, in combination with more boost and the new engine mapping to move the power needle up by another 24 horsepower to 145 hp – 192 pounds-feet of torque. Now consider this, the Up! GTI weighs only 2,358 pounds, so the increase in power has some rather impressive results. Here's a look at the Up! GTI in action.

Better Timed Runs And Improved Top End

Here are some results: 0 to 62 (0 to 100 kph), time reduced to 7.9 seconds. The top end has increased to more than 130 mph in this iteration. To keep things stable and flat on the road, the tuners developed a sports suspension, which lowers the Up! GTI by about 30 millimeters. There are also new adjustable coilover shocks that should also enable much better cornering speeds.

So, how much does all this cost? It’s not as much as you think. The Stage 1 tuning package is priced at E998 ($1,156), while the more powerful stage costs E1,498 ($1,753).

Sources: Motor1, BB Automobiletechnik


DeanMcManis (not verified)    August 12, 2018 - 4:44PM

Here in the U.S. we don't get the 1.0 Liter engine as an option on our Golfs. The base model has a 1.8L engine that makes 170HP and gets to 60 MPH in 7.7 seconds. Which is pretty close to the tweaked 1.0 Liter 4 cylinder Golf GTi. The price for the added 45HP is decent considering the bump in power and performance, but I would worry about reliability considering that the 1.0L engine is already pushed to get 100HP, and then tweaking it more could invite problems.

Further, for a similar price you could find a year-old Golf GTi with 220HP and 6.0 sec 0-60 time. So it's a nice engine tweak, but comparatively it may not be the best value.

4ndyR (not verified)    August 15, 2018 - 11:43AM

I'm currently awaiting delivery of my Up GTI. i Think 145BHP is how it should have came from the factory. It sounds an interesting proposition but i'm guessing it will not be covered by the VW warranty and although most engines are are able to handle reasonable increases in power without affecting reliability, i'm a little apprehensive that raising the boost to Stage-2 would be too much not only for the tiny engine but maybe the gearbox too? Think i'd need to see how healthy a modified GTi was after a good few thousand miles or if i was offered a secondary warranty before i'd consider taking the plunge.